Thursday, September 4, 2014

Jemaa el-Fnaa, Marrakech, Morocco

This UNESCO World Heritage site in the center of Marrakesh's old town is a must-see. We went all three nights we were there and staked out a different vantage point from above to watch the sun set and the square come to life. The name means something like "assembly of death" as executions used to be held here, but now only monkeys, cobras, and tourists are abused. To be fair, nothing is too expensive, and we had two decent meals in restaurants that surround it. Waiting for service during Ramadan can be trying, but that's the price Westerners pay, and well worth it for the interesting cultural experience. During our trip, daylight savings time was pushed back an hour to allow for an earlier sunset so that people could eat. In the third photograph from the bottom, the sun has just set and and Muslims who have been fasting all day can finally eat. There's a marked change in the square as everything seems to come alive at once. The food courts begin to fill with customers and the smells of grilling food entice the senses. This was easily one of the highlights of our trip.

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